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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

The Walt Disney Company is currently celebrating 100 years of storytelling and magic for audiences around the world across all ages. Its founder, Walt Disney, and his team of animators and writers created their retellings of classic fairytales and fables, with the majority becoming a smash hit at the box office. The first feature film that gave the studio its fame is the fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The film retells the story of the princess with skin white as snow and hair black as ebony through animation and enjoyable characters that many cherish.

Today, Disney is continuing its storytelling magic with the rise of live-action remakes of past Disney movies, the latest being The Little Mermaid (2023), starring Halle Bailey as Ariel. The reaction to this movie’s casting was both surprising and controversial. One side is excited over the diversity of having a protagonist with a darker skin tone. On the other hand, other people bashed the casting as inaccurate with the original animated film, including calling the choice “woke”.

Back in 2016, the Walt Disney Studio announced plans for a live-action remake of the film that started it all, Snow White. The casting of the new adaptation has made a once again “woke” approach with Latina actress Rachel Zegler starring as Snow White. Just like before, the casting caused controversy because the actress does not have a fair complexion as the main character’s namesake. Aside from the casting, actress Gal Gadot, casted as the Evil Queen, has expressed the changes involving the entire story during interviews.

In one interview with Variety, Zegler and Gadot expressed the changes made regarding Snow White’s story to make it more modern. When asked about bringing Snow White to a modern edge, Zegler responded, “I just mean that it’s no longer 1937, and we absolutely wrote a Snow White that she is not going to be saved by the prince and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love. She’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she can be…”

Given this statement and Gadot’s support, it is assumed that the new Snow White adaptation will take on a new approach, essentially removing the element of true love. This begs the question: is it bad to dream about true love in this modern time? 

There are many essays on why 1937’s Snow White had a big impact on the film industry and audiences worldwide. Picture this: the world is recovering from WWI, known at the time as the Great War, and the United States is also recovering from the Great Depression. Walt Disney knew that his cartoon shorts could bring joy to young audiences. So, he created his own retellings about kind, hopeful, and gentle princesses. Now, to answer the main question: dreaming and wishing for true love is not a bad thing. Wishing for a romantic partner is part of what makes us human. Of course, love itself is complex in today’s age. But if we look at the original Snow White, we see a woman who does not have a sword to wield or a confident disposition. What she does have is a big heart, and she does not give up on her dreams no matter how the oppressors in her life try to kill it. Perhaps we should take these lessons from her, and also be kind, persistent, and brave.

Current undergrad student at Grand Canyon University, majoring in Digital Film: Screenwriting. I like to write, draw, do a bit of animation, and sing in my off time.